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★ ★ ★ IS-3 Weakspots Guide (In colorful detail!) ★ ★ ★

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★ ★ ★ I apologize for the large images - I can't put them into spoilers! :(  ★ ★ ★


The IS-3 can be quite the beast in combat... it's a great pleasure to drive, but it certainly isn't very fun to be on the receiving end of its gun. Thick turret armor and a very well angled pike-nose means that it can be an extremely difficult tank to deal with at times, whether you're at close range or long range. However, what many people don't realize is that the IS-3 is riddled with weakspots. Even low penetration guns can do damage to it from the front when put in that situation.



The first major weakpoint is on the top of the turret. Both the turret roof and panels above the gun mantle are only 20mm thick. This means that it is very easy for you to over-match the turret and any kinds of hatches, bumps, panels, etc. you find on it.


Turret Roof:




Let's say that you're face-hugging the IS-3 in a decently tall tank. You'll probably see something like the image below. Just take a shot. See the red penetration mark? Very easy to go through as long as you don't hit the gun mantle.


Turret Roof penetration:




In addition to the weak roof and panels, there's also a very weak, rounded 80mm hatch on the upper right corner of the turret. This may be hard to hit unless the IS-3 is staying still, or moving very slowly. If you can hit it though, it's easy to go through.


Hatch on the upper right corner of the turret:





Beware of the gun mantle!!! It's spaced armor - 90mm panel of armor over the rounded 249 turret armor - unless you're a Tier 10 TD shooting 400 + pen Gold ammo, you won't penetrate it. Even the "holes" in the mantle aren't really holes... they still count as 90mm thick. If you hit it, your round will penetrate the spaced armor, but will not go any further. See how my bullet hits the hole, penetrates the spaced armor, and then simply bounces off harmlessly a bit lower on his turret?


Gun Mantle:






Now for the hull. On the front of the hull, you will noticed two panels of "patched" armor. While these are not weakspots (still 110mm thick), they're very good places to shoot. When aiming for the front, try to hit these panels. They can serve as a visual reference as to where to hit the IS-3. Shooting at them prevents your shot from hitting the hull at any kind of very bad angle. However don't shoot them head-first - try to move somewhat to the to the sides of the frontal armor before opening fire upon them. From there, you will negate the angle of the pike nose, and hit the hull in the right spot to prevent your shot from bouncing due to a bad angle. For me, this works like a charm when performed properly.


"Patched" Armor:





On the top of the pike nose, you will notice a 60mm thick flat portion with a small port above it. Unless you have very high penetration and good gun depression in a tall tank, you are unlikely to be able to penetrate it. Even the port won't do damage - it just counts as a critical hit. Don't shoot this unless you're above the IS-3!!!



Flat panel & Port (Don't shoot this!):




Also, the lower plate is not a weakspot. Not only is it the same thickness as the rest of the hull, but it's even more angled. Unless the IS-3 is pointing his hull upwards, don't shoot this!

Lower Plate (Not a weakspot - don't shoot!):


Good news! That flat panel is useful... if the IS-3's gun is aiming upwards. If you're face-hugging him, he will likely move his gun upwards to hit the hatches on your turret. This puts him in the perfect position for you to shot trap! (Shot Trapping is ricocheting a bullet off of an enemy tank in such a manner that the bounced bullet hits the same tank a second time, except now in a much weaker location.)
When the IS-3's gun is pointing upwards towards my commander's hatches, he reveals his turret ring. This allows you to shoot the flat 60mm panel on the top of his pike nose (near the back of the panel), in order for the bullet to bounce upwards off of the panel and into the 100mm thick turret ring.

Shot Trapping (Flat Panel on the top of the pike nose):


Guess what? This same tactic can be used in the exact opposite manner! Shoot the lower part of the IS-3's gun mantle for your bounced bullet to hit the 60mm flat panel from directly above! This results in an easy and effective penetration. Remember, the IS-3 will have to be pointing his gun upwards. Usually at very close range and when face-hugging, this is where he will aim due to his poor gun depression.

Shot Trapping (Lower part of the gun mantle):





Warning, warning, spaced armor alert! The IS-3's side is very thick (90mm) with a 30mm panel of spaced armor in front of it (making it 120mm effective). This means that not only are HE, HEAT, and HESH ineffective against the spaced armor, but also it's hard to penetrate it in general. Be very careful when shooting it! Make sure you are not at a bad angle when shooting it, otherwise your bullet will penetrate the spaced armor and then harmlessly bounce off of the underlying side armor, as show below in the image.


Side Armor (Don't shoot at a bad angle - not weak!):




Remember - when shooting an IS-3, you want to aim for his turret roof and hatches, or try to shot trap. Don't shoot the lower plate or frontal hull unless he is elevated upwards or you are somewhat to the side of his frontal pike (respectively).


Position yourself like this:




Just keep in mind, when you are face-hugging an IS-3, he will be able to aim for your Commander's hatches... you want him to do this so you can shot-trap, however don't keep your turret still. Wiggle your hull and turret after you take a shot - because he's aiming for them!


Careful now - the IS-3 has shots at your Commander's hatches!



Obviously the rear is a weakspot. If you're going to track the IS-3, shoot for his front or back track wheel, and make sure to shoot it head-on, not at an angle if you want to do damage. The turret has a funny shape, so just make sure that you don't hit its sides or rear at a bad angle! Also, the side of his turret armor is 172mm thick, as well as somewhat rounded - this means that you need high penetration to go through it - you'll probably be better off hitting the side armor or frontal / rear track wheels if you have a low penetration gun and are at the IS-3's sides.
I hope this helps! Good luck on the battlefield, tankers. Smile_honoring.gif
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